First Time Home Buyer Tips

Educate Yourself

Step one in the home buying process, especially for first time 9apps apk download home buyers is to educate yourself. Buying a home is one of the largest financial transactions in one’s life which is why it is so important to start the home buying process with a little research. Buyers should educate themselves on both the real estate market and the steps needed to have a successful home purchase. Asking questions to your family and friends who recently bought homes along with browsing the internet is a great place to start your home buying process.


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Find Money

Are you paying cash? If not you will need a mortgage to purchase your home. Shopping for a mortgage is not as fun as shopping for homes but it is a very important step in the home buying process!

First, you will need to find a mortgage lender who is experienced, easy to work with and understands your financial situation. In Washtenaw County, most people prefer to work with local mortgage lenders. Local lenders are more accessible, easier to communicate with and they can close quickly. National mortgage companies are known for being difficult to work with as the file has to pass through so many hands which can delay your closing. Majority of our local lenders in Washtenaw County have underwriters in the same building which helps them close quickly.

Most Realtors® will be able to offer you contact information for a few local mortgage lenders but be sure to do your own research and read reviews before making a decision on what lender you will use.

Second, after you found a good mortgage lender, you will need to determine your price range. Just because you were preapproved up to $300,000, doesn’t necessarily mean you can comfortably spend $300,000. Take a close look at your finances and determine how much you would be comfortable spending per month. Make sure this monthly payment fits comfortably into your lifestyle and leaves you with enough money to still enjoy life!

Use a mortgage calculator to get an estimate of how much a home would cost you per month.

Third, you will need to obtain a copy of your pre-approval letter from your mortgage lender. A pre-approval letter is your golden ticket to purchasing a new home! Your pre-approval is a document that states the amount you are eligible to borrow. It proves you are a legitimate buyer and also shows Realtors® you are serious in your home search. Make sure you don’t lose this letter, it will be needed to present a strong offer.


Find a Realtor®

Buying a home is a complex process and a good Realtor® is a huge key to a successful home purchase. Your Realtor® will be your go to throughout your home buying process so it is important to find a Realtor® who you enjoy working with and is easy for you to communicate with.


Find a Home

Once you obtain your pre-approval letter and find the right realtor, it’s time for the fun part, finding your home! The easiest way to find the right home is to start your search with a clear plan. Start the plan with a list of your top priorities, is location the most important thing to you? The school district? Or maybe you just need a garage for your toys? You may have to make some sacrifices, remember your first home doesn’t have to be your dream home. Having a clear list will make it easier to sacrifice the things that aren’t top priority.

After you have your plan in place, most likely you will start your home search online. As you begin your search online, don’t fall in love with a home too fast. There’s a few things to remember when you’re looking at homes online versus in person. Professional photographs and photo editing can easily give an inaccurate representation of the home. When looking online you can’t tell if there are any strong pet odors, mold or other issues also so we recommend not getting your hopes up until you see it in person. You never know what surprises you may run into!

Once you’ve narrowed down what you’re looking for and took some time to search around online, gather your favorite listings and make an appointment with your realtor. Your realtor will then schedule a day and time to go out and tour these homes. It’s important to not look at too many houses in one day because all the details tend to end up mixed up. As you’re checking out different homes, it’s not a bad idea to bring a checklist with you. Laura Gaskill from created a home-buying checklist with 20 great things to keep in mind while walking through a home.


Negotiate Offer

After you found the right home for you, it’s time to make an offer! Making an offer is exciting but it is important to not get too excited, even after the offer is accepted. When making an offer on a property you will work closely with your realtor. It is common for a first time home buyer to want to make a lowball offer on a property but buying a home isn’t quite the same as buying a used car on craigslist. Lowball offers are very rarely taken seriously unless you are purchasing a distressed property. A strong offer upfront, especially in a sellers market will be to your advantage.

Once the seller accepts your offer, we will be moving onto the home inspection process. Home buyers are responsible for hiring their own home inspector to make sure the property is free of any issues. Don’t be shocked if the property comes back and has a couple things wrong, it’s normal. Inspectors are trained to find everything wrong, even little things. You and your realtor will negotiate with the seller to get these issues taken care of. It’s important to focus on the major issues when negotiating repairs, nitpicking the little problems could easily ruin the deal. For more on what comes after your offer is accepted check out Ryan Fitzgerald’s article “What Comes After a Seller Accepts your Offer?


Get Your Key and Move In

After your offer is accepted and you complete your home inspection you will be on your way to the finish line. Once everyone involved in the transaction agree’s that the deal is going to close on time, you will need to schedule your final walk through and closing time. The final walkthrough is just to make sure the property is still in the same condition that you and the seller agreed too. If the seller agreed to leave all the appliances, blinds, etc, this is a great time to check. If anything is not how you expected, you will need to address these issues before closing. To have time to fix any issues, it is best to schedule a walk through 24 hours before the closing.

Now that you have completed your final walkthrough, get your pen ready and be prepared to sign a few documents at the closing. An average closing takes around an hour. Once all the paperwork is signed and the loan is funded, you will receive your keys and be a proud owner of your first home!

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